Flu vaccines are recommended for kids in pre-school and elementary school to help keep them healthy. In fact, all children 6 months and older should get flu vaccines. Getting all of your children vaccinated – as well as other family members and caregivers – also can help protect infants younger than 6 months old. Ask your family's doctor or nurse about getting flu shots or the nasal spray to protect them against flu.
Older children need vaccines, too! Of course, everyone older than 6 months of age is recommended to receive a yearly flu vaccination, and older children are no exception! It's important to know that flu can be serious, even for healthy young people. So older kids should get at least one flu shot every year.
As kids get older, they are more at risk for catching diseases, like meningococcal meningitis, so they need protection that vaccines provide. The recommended immunization schedule is regularly updated to include new vaccines and reflect current research. So, it has probably changed since your child was first immunized. Specific vaccines, like HPV, are recommended to be given during the preteen (11-12) years and teen (13-18) years. If kids don't get these vaccines on time, they should get caught up as soon as possible.
For other diseases, like whooping cough, the protection from vaccine doses received in childhood wears off over time. That's why 11- and 12-year-olds are also recommended to get the booster shot called Tdap. Teens—and adults, too—who have not gotten Tdap should get this booster as soon as possible. Tdap is a version of the DTaP vaccine given to infants and young children.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Vaccines & Diseases They Prevent
- Parents' Guide to Childhood Immunizations
- Diseases and the Vaccines that Prevent Them (fact sheets)
- State Mandates on Immunization and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Immunization Action Coalition
- School and daycare vaccination requirements
- Links to State, City and Island Immunization or Public Health Department Websites
- If You Choose Not to Vaccinate Your Child, Understand the Risks and Responsibilities [PDF - 512 KB]
- Keeping Track of Vaccination Records